The East Carolina University baseball team has been in a recruiting dead period for the past several months, which has forced the team to adjust from its traditional recruitment style.
According to assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator Jeff Palumbo, a dead period is a period of time when it is not permissible to make in-person recruiting contacts or evaluations on or off-campus or to permit official or unofficial visits by Prospective Student Athletes (PSA’s) to the institution's campus.
Although recruits cannot visit the campus or athletic facilities, staff members can reach out to Prospective Student Athletes via letters or telephone if those athletes are age eligible. This dead period has been going on for months now, but exactly when it will end is uncertain, according to Palumbo.
“This current dead period is set to end on Jan. 1,” Palumbo said. “That said, the NCAA has set a date numerous times and extended the dead period end date. To my knowledge the NCAA will be reevaluating the Jan.1. date on Nov. 13.”
At the start of the dead period, some recruits were not aware of the protocols of the dead period at all. It took some time for everyone to adjust to the dead period as Palumbo said that for the most part now everyone knows the rules because this has been an ongoing process for months.
With recruits who do not know the rules, Palumbo said coaches just try to enlighten them on the dead period and make sure recruits and their families know what is permissible.
“Being that we are able to have phone contact, we simply educate them on the situation and what is and is not allowed via the NCAA dead period,” Palumbo said.
Palumbo said recruiting has slowed down, but it hasn't come to a dead stop. Coaches still stay in constant contact with recruits over the phone and watch travel baseball and live streamed games in order to create opportunities to watch recruits play, according to Palumbo.
As the Pirates are in a dead period right now the team is given the time to focus its energies elsewhere. Palumbo said that the dead period is a positive in some aspects because the coaches and staff can focus a little more on the current members of the team.
The Pirates season ended abruptly last spring due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States. At the time, the Pirates had a 13-4 record and were chasing an opportunity to return to the Super Regionals. The Pirates have had to adapt to the new normal regarding social distancing and have had to find new ways to practice and have team events. Along with that, the Pirates have welcomed 13 newcomers to the program.
To recruits who want to play for the Pirates, Palumbo said ECU is one of the best places to play in the entire country.
“This is one of the best places in the country to play baseball,” Palumbo said. “You will have an opportunity to get a great degree, develop as both a person and a player, and have an opportunity to truly compete for a national championship.”